Announcements

Club News: Douglas County Master Gardeners expand Plant Clinic hours for the month of February

January 26, 2015 — 

Plant Clinic hours growing

The Douglas County Master Gardeners will have Plant Clinic hours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays through the month of February at the OSU Extension office, 1134 S.E. Douglas Ave., Roseburg.

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Club News: VFW Post 2468 hosts potluck in Roseburg on Jan. 30

January 26, 2015 — 

Post 2468 hosts VFW potluck

Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxiliary of Post 2468 will host a potluck at 6 p.m. Friday at the VFW Hall, 1127 N.E. Walnut St., Roseburg.

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Douglas County Veterans Viewpoint: Information is available for veterans

January 25, 2015 — 

I’ve written about the importance of education as a foundation for being a good citizen. I understand that, sometimes, acquiring the information needed to make good choices can be tough. We should all be thankful for the many resources available to veterans, their families and supporters.

When people ask me for resources, I begin with the Douglas County Veterans Service Office. The helpful and knowledgeable staff at the VSO helps provide information on veterans’ claims, educational benefits, burial benefits, home loan certificates of eligibility, Department of Veterans Affairs medical care, Oregon VA home loans and a host of other resources. If VSO staff can’t answer your questions, they will know someone who can.

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50th Anniversary: Courville, Tom and Marilyn

January 26, 2015 — 

Courvilles enjoy life together

Tom and Marilyn Courville celebrated their 50th anniversary recently with a few friends and a private dinner party.

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Club News: USSVI meets Jan. 30 to select 2015 Rogue-Umpqua Base officers

January 19, 2015 — 

Submarine vets meet locally

The Rogue-Umpqua Base of the United States Submarine Veterans Incorporated will gather at noon Jan. 30, 2015, at the Tri-City Veterans Hall, 252 Old Pacific Highway, Myrtle Creek (take Exit 103 from Interstate 5).

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Kudos: Hat lady in Roseburg offers thanks to those who gave time and talent

January 19, 2015 — 

Help, supplies appreciated

Some of you may remember me as the Hat Lady. Every year, I ask for volunteers to help me make hats and other items for people who need them. I’d like to say thank you to the four awesome ladies who gave their time and skills to make this project a success in 2014. The five of us made a total of 740 hats. Many went to Toys for Tots; Casa de Belen received baby blankets, as well as hats.

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Kudos: Douglas County children benefit from Ready to Read Grant

January 19, 2015 — 

Grant helps our children

The Douglas County Library System would like to thank the Oregon State Library Ready to Read Grant program for its generous contribution of $22,322 to improve public library services to children.

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91st Birthday: Marples, George (Sr.)

January 19, 2015 — 

Marples Sr. enjoys 91st

George Marples Sr. celebrated his 91st birthday with a small family gathering at Abby’s Legendary Pizza.

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60th Anniversary: Dalton, Rodney and Patricia

January 19, 2015 — 

Daltons share 60th together

Rodney and Patricia Dalton celebrated their 60th anniversary with a romantic dinner for two in Mazatlan, Mexico. They met for the first time in 1953 at the Bandon roller rink and were married Dec. 5, 1954, at the First Christian Church in Coquille, Oregon.

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Club News: Korean War era U.S. Navy pilot visits Jan. 13 NARFE meeting

January 12, 2015 — 

NARFE takes a look at the past

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees will meet at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Round Table Pizza, 2040 N.W. Stewart Parkway, Roseburg.

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Club News: Explore Douglas County’s sawmill history at Jan. 15 Genealogical Society meeting

January 12, 2015 — 

GSDC hosts local author

The Genealogical Society of Douglas County will meet at 1 p.m. Thursday in Room 310 of the Douglas County Courthouse, 1036 S.E. Douglas St., Roseburg.

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Club News: Interim VA director Paxton speaks at AWVA’s Roseburg meeting Jan. 13

January 12, 2015 — 

Interim director visits AWVA

The American Women Veterans’ Association will host a question and answer session with Douglas Paxton, interim director of the VA Roseburg Healthcare System. The session will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the American Legion Post 406 S.E. Oak Street, Roseburg. Women veterans of all eras and all branches of the military are invited.

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60th Anniversary: Paulson, Tom and Donna

January 12, 2015 — 

Paulsons enjoy 60th together

Tom and Donna Paulson recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. They were both born in Douglas County, grew up in the area and attended Roseburg High School. Tom graduated in 1952 and Donna graduated in 1954. The high school sweethearts were married Oct. 4, 1954, at the Lookingglass Community Church.

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Births: December 1 to December 2, 2014

January 12, 2015 — 

MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, ROSEBURG

EARL — Mikayla Thacker and Jordan Earl, Roseburg, December 1, a daughter, Charley Addison Earl, 7 pounds 1 ounce

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Births: December 2 to December 3, 2014

January 12, 2015 — 

MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, ROSEBURG

SIMPSON — Dana Dewitt and Jason Simpson, Roseburg, December 2, a daughter, Rebehyl Alexis Barbi Simpson, 8 pounds 14 ounces

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Births: December 4 to December 5, 2014

January 12, 2015 — 

MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, ROSEBURG

BRAY-SNELL — Savannah Bray and Tyler Snell, Roseburg, December 4, a son, Mason Avery Bray-Snell, 7 pounds 0 ounces

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Douglas County Veterans Viewpoint: America’s past helps shape the future

January 11, 2015 — 

With the New Year upon us, it is appropriate to see how the past can help shape the future. I said before that one of the great things about serving in our military is the opportunity to travel and explore.

With that in mind, and some precious time off during the holidays, I spent time in Virginia to see firsthand where America happened, to see the homes of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, two Founding Fathers of the United States and top figures in the American Revolution.

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Births: November 27 to November 30, 2014

January 9, 2015 — 

MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, ROSEBURG

BURNS — Roxanne Wynegar and Brandon Burns, Myrtle Creek, November 27, a daughter, Bayleigh Rose Burns, 6 pounds 10 ounces

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Club News: Umpqua Lions meet Jan. 7; donation helped inmates get eye glasses

January 8, 2015 — 

Learn about our jail Chaplains

The Umpqua Lions will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sandy’s Diner, 647 S.E. Jackson St., Roseburg.

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Club News: Umpqua Orchid Society meets Jan. 8 in Roseburg

January 8, 2015 — 

See N. Country Orchid slides

The Umpqua Orchid Society will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 2 at the Mercy Education Center, 2459 N.W. Stewart Parkway, Roseburg.

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Club News: Roseburg veterans host rest area coffee break Jan. 9, 10, and 11.

January 8, 2015 — 

VFW promotes driving safely

Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Ladies Auxiliary from Post 2468 invite motorists to take a coffee break at the Cabin Creek Rest Area near northbound Milepost 142 on Interstate 5. VFW members will be on duty Friday, Saturday, and Jan. 11. Stop by for a break from driving, get some coffee and have a homemade cookie or brownie.

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Club News: Altrusa’s Jan. 9 and 10 book sale in Roseburg raises funds for literacy programs

January 8, 2015 — 

Book sale set for January

Altrusa International of Roseburg will have a huge book sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 643 S.E. Kane St., Roseburg.

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Club News: Roseburg chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution meet Jan. 10

January 8, 2015 — 

State Custodian visits local DAR

The Umpqua Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution will have a no-host luncheon meeting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Chi’s Garden Restaurant, 528 S.E. Stephens St., Roseburg.

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ENGAGEMENT: Alleman-Marek

January 5, 2015 — 

Alleman-Marek

The engagement of Stephanie Alleman, daughter of Ken and Cathy Alleman of Gresham, to Michael Marek, son of Nancy and Jeff Farris of Glide, and D. Marek of Cornelius, is announced. A wedding is planned for July.

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Births: November 18 to November 25, 2014

January 5, 2015 — 

MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, ROSEBURG

CEVIK — Jenny and Cihan Cevik, Roseburg, November 18, a son, Jack Demir Cevik, 8 pounds 10 ounces

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Births: November 17, 2014

January 2, 2015 — 

MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, ROSEBURG

ARAGONEZ — Alexandria and Eleazar Aragonez Jr., Roseburg, November 17, a daughter, Adeline LeMay Aragonez, 6 pounds 3 ounces

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Kudos: Thanks grow in the hearts of Charlie Company families for holiday party donations

December 29, 2014 — 

Kruse family gleans kudos

I would like to thank the Kruse family for its supportive gift of 30 pumpkins for the Charlie Company Halloween party for the wives and children. The Kruses very graciously donated these pumpkins for carving.

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Club News: Movie Night in Roseburg features Jan. 2 showing of “Letters to God.”

December 29, 2014 — 

Unity offers Movie Night

Unity Church will show a free movie at 6:15 Friday at 507 N.E. Winchester Ave., Roseburg.

This month’s offering is “Letters to God,” with Tanner Maguire, Jeffrey Johnson and Robyn Lively. A young boy fighting cancer writes letters to God, touching lives in his neighborhood and inspiring hope in his community.

Refreshments are affordable and a love offering is invited.

Information: 541-957-1452 or http://www.unityofroseburg.org.

Military Note: Gren, Conrad R.

December 29, 2014 — 

Conrad Gren

Department of Defense civilian Conrad R. Gren has deployed overseas for a six month tour at a forward operating base to serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is serving as Chief of Internal Review with Transatlantic Afghanistan District, Corps of Engineers, Bagram Airfield, Afghanstan.

Gren is a 1974 graduate of Milo Adventist Academy in Days Creek. He earned a master’s degree in 2003 from Western Seminary in Portland.

Douglas County Veterans Viewpoint: Other than honorable discharges related to PTSD may be reversible

December 28, 2014 — 

Did you know Christmas Day marked the 100th anniversary of World War I’s famous Christmas Truce on the Western Front? The unofficial truce happened just five months after war broke out in Europe.

British and German soldiers ceased fire, rising from muddy trenches in France and Belgium to exchange gifts, sing carols, share dinner and pray together. Fellow combatants were retrieved from the no-man’s land that separated the soldiers.

An excellent essay written by Robert M. Sapolsky and published in the Wall Street Journal is available online at http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-spirit-of-the-1914-christmas-truce-1419006906?mod=wsj_hpp_middlenexttowhatsnewsthird.

The Sainsbury’s supermarket chain in the United Kingdom commemorated this event in partnership with The Royal British Legion. You can watch the short film, inspired by the extraordinary events of the Christmas Truce, on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWF2JBb1bvM.

Here are three non-fiction books about World War I that I recommend:

1. “The Guns of August,” by Barbara W. Tuchman

2. “The First World War,” by Hew Strachan

3. “To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918,” by Adam Hochschild

Then there are two excellent classic fiction books about the Great War:

1. “All Quiet on the Western Front,” by Erich Maria Remarque and Arthur Wesley Wheen

2. “A Farewell to Arms,” by Ernest Hemmingway

Finally, I have good news to share for veterans who want to upgrade their discharge status. The news came from Chad Alcock, who works for the Oregon Employment Department, a member of the Worksource Douglas Community Partners. You may remember that he hosted a Hiring Our Heroes employment workshop last spring at the Roseburg Armory.

Alcock shared that as many as 80,000 veterans who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and received Other Than Honorable discharges can use evidence of their PTSD to petition service boards to upgrade the bad paper discharge. This is an opportunity for individuals to remove lifelong stigmas that have scarred reputations, limited job prospects and blocked critical veteran benefits.

Last September, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum providing guidance to the Military Department Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records, as they carefully consider each and every petition brought regarding under other than honorable conditions discharge upgrade requests by veterans claiming PTSD. This includes a comprehensive review of all materials and evidence provided by the applicant.

The memorandum states, “Recent attention has been focused on the petitions of Vietnam veterans to Military Department Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records (BCM/NR) for the purposes of upgrading their discharges based on claims of previously unrecognized post-traumatic stress disorder. In these cases, PTSD was not recognized as a diagnosis at the time of service and, in many cases, diagnoses were not made until decades after service was completed. To help ensure consistency across the services, this memorandum provides supplemental policy guidance for BCMR/NRs on these applications.

“BCM/NRs will fully and carefully consider every petition based on PTSD brought by each veteran. This includes a comprehensive review of all materials and evidence provided by the petitioner. Quite often, however, the records of service members who served before PTSD was recognized, including those who served in the Vietnam theater, do not contain substantive information concerning medical conditions in either service treatment records or personnel records. It has therefore been extremely difficult to document conditions that form a basis for mitigation in punitive, administrative, or other legal actions or to establish a nexus between PTSD and misconduct underlying the service member’s discharge with a characterization of under other than honorable conditions.”

This policy guidance is intended to ease the application process for veterans who are seeking redress and assist the boards in reaching fair and consistent results in these cases. The guidance also mandates liberal waivers of time limits, ensures timely consideration of petitions, and allows for increased involvement of medical personnel in Board determinations.

Go online to the Board’s website at http://arba.army.pentagon.mil/abcmr-app.cfm for more information about the application process.

God bless our veterans and God bless America.

Have information to share with Douglas County veterans? Contact me at jd.mcdonald.jd@gmail.com or 541-580-6178.

John McDonald, a member of the Oregon National Guard, is president of the Douglas County Veterans Forum and a member of the Douglas County Veterans Advisory Committee, the Patrick W. Kelley VFW Post 2468 and the Earle B. Stewart American Legion Post 16. He’s a combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm with more than 15 years of military service. He can be reached at jd.mcdonald.jd@gmail.com.

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